Nick Jonas has a new member of his inner circle.
Over the past year or two, designer John Varvatos has become perhaps Jonas' most frequent collaborator other than his fellow Jonas Brothers bandmates, brothers Kevin and Joe. The pair has released three fragrances, a capsule collection, worked on the Amazon documentary, "Chasing Happiness," together and launched Villa One Tequila together.
The basis for their fruitful collaborations was born simply out of genuine friendship.
"I think it started with us as friends and just connecting on life and family and creativity, and there was a familiarity there that was just built in," Jonas told AOL's Gibson Johns on the heels of their latest fragrance release, JVxNJ Silver Edition. "That definitely had something to do with it, and it was the perfect foundation to then talk about working together."
"The fact that he was involved in the film was really helpful, because it gave him a crash course on all things separate from my solo stuff from around the time we met," he said later. "It feels like he’s part of our crew. We’ve had the same manager for nearly 16 years and basically the same team forever and he’s part of that group now."
Varvatos echoed those sentiments, adding that they have a similar relentless work ethic that has allowed them to see eye-to-eye on a lot of projects.
"There’s a lot in our lives that we’ve been churning out, and it’s part of who we are: We love creating, we love doing new things, we don’t like just sitting around," he told AOL.
Read our full interview with Nick Jonas and John Varvatos below, where we discuss the nature of the collaboration, what a Jonas Brothers show looks like in 2019 and what Jonas' fans can expect from his upcoming stint as a coach on "The Voice":
You're launching your latest collaboration, JVxNJ Silver Edition, which follows two other fragrances, a capsule collection and Villa One Tequila to the list of your recent joint ventures. What makes this partnership one that you keep coming back to?
John Varvatos: A lot of sh-t has happened with us. There’s a lot in our lives that we’ve been churning out, and it’s part of who we are: We love creating, we love doing new things, we don’t like just sitting around. I don’t think we would ever do something else just to do it. It was kind of motivated by wanting to add more energy to the projects that we’ve started to work on.
Nick, it's pretty clear that your work with John is born not just out of successful business relationship, but also out of genuine friendship. What makes your dynamic so enticing and fruitful?
Nick Jonas: I don’t think I can chalk it up to one thing, but I think it started with us as friends and just connecting on life and family and creativity, and there was a familiarity there that was just built in. That definitely had something to do with it, and it was the perfect foundation to then talk about working together. Every time we did we enjoyed the process: Whether it was the fashion collaboration upfront or this fragrance collaboration, which is in our third evolution here. It’s really exciting -- we’ve also done the documentary and the tequila -- and it’s just been the perfect fit. I've been really fortunate in my life to have those kinds of relationships that were also a great foundation for creative partnerships, and this is proving to be another one.
It feels like there are no bounds to what you guys can do together.
JV: All of these things were things that were important to us and things that we’re passionate about, and when you’re involved in those kinds of things, it makes it a lot easier than just starting any old new project. I don’t even think of them as projects.
Silver Edition describes itself as having a relaxed feel, perfect for those times when nobody’s around and nothing’s being recorded. What do those moments look like for you guys? When are your guards the most down?
NJ: It depends for me. I’m a golfer, and I find that golf is a good time for me to relax. In addition to that, I find that reading can be really relaxing for me.
For this, though, while it’s a relaxing feeling, it also captures the energy of the past year of our lives and the work that we’ve both done together and separately. There’s a lot going on, there’s an electricity to the fragrance that we tried to put in there, because that’s what we feel. And that’s the fun of building out a fragrance like this, is that you can tell your own story that will translate to someone else’s life. We’re really excited for people to start wearing this, seeing how it affects them and how it fits into their own lives. It’s the perfect next step for this trilogy of fragrances.
JV: I was talking to my 11 year old last night. For me, it’s us having dinner together on Friday nights. The simplicity of that is the thing that I look most to every time I can do that. Hanging with your family and friends is really the one time you don’t have to have a guard up or think about anything. If you just want to blow ‘em off, you can, but you can also be engaged. In life, that’s the thing that we look to the most, that aspect of it. We both love the craziness and the energy, but we also crave that family time.
I was at the Jonas Brothers show at Madison Square Garden in August, and there was an after-party at the John Varvatos store on Bowery. John, what is it like for you to also be part of this other part of Nick’s success? It must be fun to witness this other side to his fame, beyond your partnership.
JV: For me, it’s been a crazy couple of years, because I didn’t grow up with the Jonas Brothers. I knew of them, but I wasn’t so intimate with it. It’s funny, even going out on the tour with these guys, you do meet a lot of people who grew up with the Jonas Brothers, which is a great thing. When we were working on the documentary together, we really delved into them growing up and what they were like as people and friends and family and what their values are. Sharing things together is definitely blurred, but every time we come together it just feels natural. Sometimes we talk about how long we’ve known each other, which in reality isn’t that long, but it always seems so much longer. It just feels good. I have to say, when I flew out to Chicago to go to a couple of the shows and hang out, I just felt proud of them. It was that kind of thing. I was kind of emotional when Joe and Nick share each other’s music from each other’s solo careers [during the show]. Those were touching kind of moments.
NJ: The fact that he was involved in the film was really helpful, because it gave him a crash course on all things separate from my solo stuff from around the time we met, and what I was doing on the acting side. It’s special. It feels like he’s part of our crew. We’ve had the same manager for nearly 16 years and basically the same team forever and he’s part of that group now, which is special.
JV: We really feel like family, and you can say what you want to everybody. Nobody has their guard up and everyone is honest with one another.
Before going to the show, I was expecting everyone at the concert to be in their late 20s -- people who, like me, were in their teens when the Jonas Brothers first broke out, but there were a lot of younger women there, which proves that your new music is connecting to a new generation. Has the audience at your shows on the Happiness Begins Tour surprised you at all?
NJ: It hits so many demographics, and it’s been insane to see that. "Sucker" is a big piece of the puzzle there, which is the dream, to come back after seven years apart and to be connecting with people who weren’t even old enough or alive yet, who are connecting now is special. You look out and you see those people who were teenagers back then and are adults now who are drinking Villa One and enjoying themselves at the show. It’s an exciting and bizarre thing. We’re grateful that we’re hitting these different demos and that the music, first and foremost, whether it’s the old stuff or the new stuff, is connecting with people. I speak for all of us when I say that we want to be the kinds of artists that have that impact on different generations where it’s about the songs and you look out and see how many people are affected by them.
There’s an infectious energy….
NJ: and a joy! Which is nice.
You were recently announced as a coach on the upcoming season of "The Voice." What can you tell me about joining that family? You're following in the footsteps of a long list of impressive people.
NJ: I’ve already started shooting! We did the Blinds, and it’s unbelievable. I walked in and saw my chair, and that moment alone is really special. It’s a long line of really great musicians and artists and to be one of those is an honor. I’m excited to get into the competitive nature with all the coaches.
This interview has been edited and condensed.